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Acid attack survivor discusses ‘flawed system that works’ at briefing on domestic violence
Christy Sims speaks Wednesday, Oct. 10, 2018, at Brenau University during the Hall County Domestic Violence Task Force Domestic Violence Breakfast and Briefing. Sims was severely disfigured in 2013 when her ex-boyfriend doused her with sulfuric acid. She is now the President of the Christy Sims Foundation to help prevent intimate partner violence by providing community-based education and awareness programs for young adults. - photo by Scott Rogers

Christy Sims said she had no idea someone in her house would be plotting against her.

As she was getting closer to achieving her master’s degree, her ex-boyfriend was feeling like she was growing apart from him, she said.

“He decided that, ‘You know what. She doesn’t want to marry me. She’s backing away from me. I’m going to make her so ugly that no one’s going to want her,’” she said.

After having acid thrown on her face and body in April 2013, 13 reconstructive surgeries and a trial that put that man in jail, Sims, of Atlanta, spoke in front of Hall County law enforcement and advocates against domestic violence about the “flawed system that works.” 

Sims was the featured speaker at the Domestic Violence Breakfast and Briefing Wednesday, Oct. 10, at the Thurmond McRae Auditorium in the Brenau University’s Trustee Library in Gainesville.

“One person can destroy our faith in this system. One person can renew our faith in this system. But all of us can make the system work,” Sims said of her experience with criminal justice.

Her case was handled in Henry County, and her ex-boyfriend was sentenced in 2015 to 20 years in prison.

“When you’re counseling someone, when you’re a solicitor dealing with a client, when you’re a police officer, if you remember nothing else, remember this right here: It can happen to anybody. … Empathy is what makes us  extraordinary as human beings,” she said.

Christy Sims, left, is hugged by Brenau University Department of Psychology Chair and Professor Julie Battle, PhD.,Wednesday, Oct. 10, 018, during the Hall County Domestic Violence Task Force annual Domestic Violence Breakfast and Briefing. - photo by Scott Rogers

In the 911 call, Sims’ ex-boyfriend claimed the drain cleaner was accidentally thrown on her face. When revisiting the handling of her case, Sims said she was interviewed an hour after the incident while still in shock. 

The case was dropped before she convinced an assistant district attorney to reopen the case.

Standing in front of the roughly 100 people in attendance Wednesday, Sims said she is the evidence that love and goodness can overpower the evil in the world.

The Hall County Domestic Violence Task Force honored Hall County Sheriff’s Office Deputy Stuart Dailey with the “Domestic Violence Officer of the Year” award.

The deputy was introduced with a recent story of his work in the field involving a woman who spoke only Korean. The two were able to communicate through a text-to-talk translation app.

Dailey said it was a 911 hang-up call that resulted in a man being taken to the jail.

“What worried me the most was she was so dependant on him and everything in her life depended on him. She had no friends, no family or anything,” he said.

Dailey followed through with the victim advocates for the Northeastern Judicial Circuit to ensure she got the help she needed.